Darius Fisher, the CEO of America’s leading online reputation management firm, Status Labs, recently granted an interview to the DreamCast podcast. He expounded on his philosophies of business and life and what things he perceived to be key factors in the phenomenal success of his company.
In service industries, employees are the product
Status Labs does deliver a product which is distinct from customer service. In fact, its product is valuable enough that it could probably stand on its own, retaining massive demand, even in the face of the worst customer service. However, the business does still rely heavily on customer service to land and keep clients. Also, in the case of Status Labs, the employees are integral to the final product. Without sharp, talented employees, the product’s quality would suffer greatly. In this sense, the product is inseparable from the employees.
This is why Mr. Fisher (PRWeek.com) spends so much thought and time on keeping his workers happy. In fact, his goal is to make the workplace into someplace where his employees would choose to come even if they weren’t getting paid for it. Fisher has instituted a number of programs, ranging from formal recognition of employee accomplishments to all-expenses-paid nights on the town to employee stock options, all designed to maintain high employee morale and make the workplace feel less like a job and more like a place people come to pursue their dreams.
But Fisher also has less orthodox approaches to other areas of business. For example, he trains his sales staff to be the best possible listeners. Fisher absolutely eschews hard-sell pressure tactics, instead viewing sales as a means of helping clients solve their problems. To Fisher, the role of a salesman is to understand the problem, then provide the best, most efficient solution possible.
This emphasis of a bespoke sales philosophy appeals greatly to the higher-end clients to which Status Labs often caters. Tailoring the product to and catering directly to the needs of individual clients is a model more frequently seen with luxury service providers. But Status Labs has seen phenomenal success applying it to reputation management as well.